When life gives you the flu, it also gives you a chance to relax with chicken noodle soup, hot tea and a chainsaw wielding mobster fighting a masked ninja (played by Sho Kosugi)â€”it’s the only cure really.
The 1980s, as always, have done it again! Pray for Death brings new meaning to sick days. If all you are looking for is a bit of ass kicking, this film is for you. However, if you are looking for the best kid-punching-wife-killing mob lackey bad guy of all timeâ€”then congratulations! You’ve found him!
Now, a good American Kung Fu flick from 1985 is as always the Vapor rub for your chest cold. Yet, an American Kung Fu flick from 1985 that opens with a ninja fight–close-ups on ninja-stars for at least two seconds before they are thrown and allâ€”but the scene isn’t really apart of the movie but a television show the two Japanese kids in the movie are watching; this is the Tabasco sauce drops you drip down your throat to clear up your congested sinuses. But, ladies and gentlemen, this film brings you more than just a few drops; it brings you the whole bottle.
[ad#longpost]The Saito family is the humble family of a secret monk clan trained and raised orphan who doesn’t wish for his “shadows to take over” his new life. Complete with two karate kicking sons, they move to America to start a Japanese restaurant only to windup being blamed for a bad cop’s biggest mistake: stealing a rare necklace from the Mob. Naturally, the family gets blamed, people die and the black masked ninja comes out of the shadows to seek revenge of an epic proportion.
The great thing about this film besides its poor cuts between the actor and the stuntmenâ€”come on guys, seriously, you aren’t supposed to shoot the stuntman’s faceâ€”has nothing to do with the masked ninja’s level of badassitude. It has nothing to do with the badly shot ninja-stars or to see Michael Constantine (YES, the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) badly act like a mob don. It is all about James Booth!
Yes, James Booth, everyone’s favorite British Badass you always forget the name of. He was Fleming in The Breed! He was Ernie Niles in Twin Peaks! He was Dr. Forsyth in Deep Spaceâ€”one of the best 1980s off beat Science Fiction movies ever made!
All right, I might be going a bit too far, but James Booth is the reason to watch this movie. His lines are great! His scariness is great! His stuntman is great! His old man ogling young women vibe is great! But even better than all of this, is that we finally get to see a Mob bad guy PUNCH A KID SQUARE IN THE FACE!!!!
HOW COULD YOU WANT ANYTHING ELSE IN A MOVIE?! It doesn’t get any better than this folks! So, to cure your 48-hour cold, drink lots of fluids and buy this movie! For Comcast OnDemand users, it is currently listed under the Free Movies Sections OnDemand. Otherwise, it’s out of print!
Directed by: Chips Director Gordon Hessler
Written by: James Booth
Cast: Sho Kosugi (Enter the Ninja and The Scorpion King choreographer), James Booth, Norman Burton (Bloodsport and Diamonds are Forever), Kane Kosugi (Son of Sho Kosugi and played Ryu in DOA: Dead or Alive), Shane Kosugi (Other son of Sho Kosugi and was in The Last Samurai), Michael Constantine, and others.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence
Running Time: 92 min
Average Film Rating: 4.5 out of 10 stars
Bad B-Movie Rating: not listed on badmovies.org
Bob-o-Meter Rating: My Eyes!!!… Why!?… Mehâ€¦ Goodâ€¦ Greatâ€¦ Yes!â€¦ Badassâ€¦ Awesomeâ€¦ Holy Shit, Man!